Rig Veda An Introduction

An Overview of Rigveda

 

It is my desire to translate Rigveda and the other Vedas for ordinary people like me. I searched a lot for a teacher or school to teach me Vedas, but I could not find any near me. So I myself start reading it and I found these ancient texts are so valuable and exiting.

 

If you have to understand Rigveda , then you should first of all know Sanskrit, The divine Language. I am looking for a Sanskrit teacher, but for the time being I am depended on Sanskrit dictionaries.

 

So, RigVeda is the collection of Hymns. These hymns are dedicated for worshiping and praising deities.

 

The term RigVeda is coined from Rucha and Veda

Rucha = Sacred verse

Rc= collection of sacred Verses

Veda= Sacred Knowledge or Knowledge

So Rigveda is a collection of Sacred Verses.

Samhita =collection of verses

 

 

Rigveda Samhita is the collection of mantras to please deities. When we go through the entire text, we can see how these sages trying to please deities to bring prosperity on them

These deities are

 

  • Maruth –air
  • Indra: god of thunder and lightening
  • Varuna: Water
  • Usha: morning light
  • Surya :sun
  • Bhumi :earth, prithvi
  • Soma :  magical drug 
  • Agni  : fire

 

This book is divided in a very complicated manner. It is very difficult to understand how it should be classified.

 

There are 10000 plus mantras and they are divided into ten books. These Books are known as Mandalas.

 

Mandala= Zone/division

 

 

There are 10 Mandalas.

These 10 Mandalas are again divided into Anuvaka

Anuvaka = Section

The number of Anuvakas = 85

 

Each Anuvaka has many verses to praise deities.  These verses are called Suktas.

 

Sukta=hymn

Suktas have many sentences/verses. Each verse is called Rcs or Rucha

Number of Suktas=1028

 

 

Rucha = Sacred verse

Rc= collection of sacred Verses

 

Each Mandala is done by one particular Rishi . Each Rishi is praising each deity. These Rishis are known to be the owners of each Mandala.  

 

 

 

 

 

Chandas: The Poetic Meter 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

Anuvaka 1

 Rishi Madhu Chanda – Devta Agni- Chandas Gayathri

 

 

What is Chandas

 

  • Gayathri: 3 padas of 8 syllables containing 24 syllables in each stanza.

It is a kind of measurement. It is a poetic meter. Since Vedas are recited by the rishis, they recite it in a particular mode. When we go to temples we can see a particular mode of recitation. These  mode of recitation is called Chandas. There are 7 type of Chandas. They are.

 

 

 Various hymns have various mode of reciting it. There will be high pitch and low pitch, end note and start note, I think this is something based on the Hertz system.  

 

 

  • Gayatri: 3 padas of 8 syllables containing 24 syllables in each stanza.
  • Ushnuk : 4 padas of 7 syllables containing 28 syllables in each stanza.
  • Anustubh: 4 padas of 8 syllables containing 32 syllables in each stanza. This is the typicalshlokaof classical Sanskrit poetry
  • Brihati : 4 padas (8 + 8 + 12 + 8) containing 36 syllables in each stanza.
  • Pankti : 4 padas (sometimes 5 padas) containing 40 syllables in each stanza.
  • Tristubh: 4 padas of 11 syllables containing 44 syllabes in each stanza
  • Jagati: 4 padas of 12 syllables containing 48 syllables in each stanza.

 

 

Frequency of each Chandas is different. Maybe rishis used to influence the forces of nature s through various frequencies of sound. Like Tansen created rain through his music. The ancient world is not like us, they are very nature friendly, and they love the nature, the treat the nature with respect. So the nature also will listen to them.

Rishis are reciting this from their divine knowledge, they are getting the hymns from the Akashic records.

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